She happens to love school and loves most of her topics. Not all, but most. Which is why it was so unusual for me to try the iPod experiment. Generally, not fun, even if you love the work at humane loads. Plus, I was very curious how motivational increasing levels of concreteness would be when the real hurdle was the volume and time, rather than the nature of work. So, I experimented with external rewards. And, in this scenario, it worked.
And, as always, you guys are a huge source of information and inspiration. In my business — math education — kids come to our online tutor from a number of angles. We see parents pushing unmotivated children into the service and motivated children pulling their parents into subscribing on their behalf. They get a kick out of knowing stuff and improving their skills, and all it takes to make this happen is the kind of positive feedback we give them with initial success.
A physically fit person often gets fit because of the intrinsic benefits, but he often stays fit because he feels a powerful need to do so.
Read his great post, which he begins with the following […]. This is a really interest post Jonathan. If it were up to me now, I think I would have majored in something like creative writing. I come from a culture where people would go nuts if they found out I chose such an impractical major because it would have no possibility of getting me a job.
Yet, one thing I realized almost all employers cared about was that you did well in school, and were well rounded.
Out of nowhere a bunch of students show up saying they got in too, and he develops a curriculum completely based on what the students want to learn. Basically he takes the tuition dollars of each students and appropriates the funds to what they want to learn. I always wondered what kind of results this kind of experimental learning would produce.
Anyways, really interesting article. That actually sounds a lot like the Waldorf approach to education where the kids have a huge amount of self determination in the process. And, the parents I know with kids in Waldorf schools have told me they end up doing really well in college and tend to be much more creative at problem solving. As a parent of teenagers I am now at a stage where the challenge -rather than figuring out what incentives will enable them to learn is to sit back and let them decide how to handle the consequences when they make the choice not to study—.
Also, this may not be a public school v private school dilemma. Well, learning should never suck.
I thought I was going to get an economics degree until I discovered Wordsworth in a literature course. Discovery is good, and I think being an educated person is important in the broad sense, not the university-pedigreed way. Okay, where to begin?
Lets start with bribes. So if you are encouraging a behavior then you used a perfectly acceptable method. She is an animal trainer and her book is about behavior modification. Worse case scenario, you shoot the dog.
I highly recommend it for everyone. Second, I think one of the best ways to foster a love of learning, is to first foster a love of reading. All of the best educated people I have known were avid readers and quite a few of them had little formal education. If you could only do one thing towards furthering your daughters education, then introducing her to books she will love is the one I would pick.
See which movies she prefers, then get her books with similar content that has yet to be filmed. When I pointed out that, as former drug dealer, he used fractions every day he was hustling and how fractions i. Another student had been an over-the-road truck driver. When I showed him how math skills would enable him to figure out which would yield him the most profit, i.
My point here is that people are always more interested in subjects when they can see how those things will benefit them. Almost any subject can be tied to an area that interests a person, if you only look long enough to find where a current interest intersects the subject you want to encourage. I hope you find this helpful.
I was lucky to have been seemingly born with a love of learning. I started with some simpler topics and then just worked my way from there. But the schooling system is broken. In my 13 years of school I was never once told to read On Writing Well or The Elements of Style, yet my writing improved dramatically after doing so.
What was the point the first place? The few that do have an interest in the topics or just sheer dedication to go to college succeed while the rest sift to the bottom. As Stevedreamweaver hinted at, Karen Pryor has a few more hints you need. Both books only touch on how using these methods instill intrinsic motivation.
Now to your last question: What is the best way to motivate a kid to learn topics that are completely devoid of genuine interest, but are required by a highly-standardized external curriculum and approach to teaching? Teach them specific memory techniques and other ways to learn fast something that is NOT taught in school. Things like strategies for spelling, maths, dates, formula, sequences etc.
So they spend the absolute minimum time learning things they need to regurgitate. Additionally, learning is only sometimes fun. As you suggest, doing scales practice for an hour a day is a chore. However, you can make it more fun: 1. Set a specific target for this lesson.
Make sure the goal is just within reach.
This extra stretch is needed, but the goal needs to be achievable. Whatever it is, use a visual counting method — poker chips etc. Once you achieve the goal, STOP! We learn by the effectiveness of the learning we do. This avoids poisoning the fun by making it a chore. If you succeed, stopping encourages doing more later. Dan Pink once suggested that free agent workers might also need to take a free agent approach to educating their children. I tend to agree. This perspective also includes the belief that traditional educational success is not really required for a successful life or career.
Encourage them to use their Signature Strengths and other talents in learning them. Memorize spelling words by creating something from them each week, such as writing them in cake frosting to eat your words or assembling them into a seek-a-word puzzle. Bring fairness or authenticity to the task of learning about cultures or history through debates or preparing a letter to an elected leader about an issue.
Add teamwork or leadership by making it a group project. Use humor to write jokes about numbers I one a bug, I two a bug… or zest to play math hopscotch. Use perseverance to tackle a science fair entry. Thanks for the interesting post, Jonathan. I have to admit, after reading some of these comments, I feel a bit out of my league here.
In other important decision-making like career, relationships, happiness, etc, we talk about confronting fear first to clear a path for moving forward. Do we do that enough or do it effectively?
Or are these fears becoming an interruption for our kids?